How’s the Money Going to Change Hands? Shopping Cart Strategies for New and Seasoned Marketers Alike
Once your site is designed and hosted on a server, you want to have a way for your customers to pay you for your products, courses, and other creations and then download their purchase onto their own computer. There are a few ways you can do this, but I’m going to focus on the big ones since you’re going to be dabbling in information products. Here’s one of the drawbacks to knowing so many of the “gurus”: drowning in differing opinions when it comes to shopping cart strategies.
Some claim that ClickBank is horrible, while others can’t stand anything but. Here’s what you do – post your product on more than one service. What would it hurt? Let me give you the skinny on two main ones – ClickBank and Pay Dot Com. I don’t want to bury you with information overload, and if you know these two, you’ll be in good hands starting out. Let’s get started with the most important shopping cart strategies, shall we?
Choosing ClickBank to Enhance Your Shopping Cart Strategies
To some, ClickBank has been the best choice for written info products, even though technically, you can have your own bank accept payments for you on your site. Word of warning – it can be very expensive to go that route. ClickBank is a global marketplace with over 10,000 products – most of which are information eBooks like the kind you’ll be creating. ClickBank is a third party retailer specializing in digitally delivered products, but it’s also much more than that.
They have a system in place to let thousands of affiliates sell your product for you, and ClickBank takes care of paying them so you don’t have to bother with it. It also allows you to capture the email addresses of your customers and track your sales and refunds in real time so that you always know where you stand in profits and losses.
You’ll set up your Buy Now button to direct visitors to the purchase link you’ve acquired with your ClickBank account. Many of the third party retailers charge hundreds of dollars to use their system, in addition to the cut they take whenever you sell a product to a consumer.
ClickBank has a one time registration fee of $49.95, but don’t bother setting it up until your product is ready and your website is designed. When you start selling, ClickBank will also take $1 + 7.5% of the sale of your product, so take that into account whenever you price your product. It’s still the best deal on the internet.
When you go to ClickBank, click on Become a Publisher and get your own account. You want to make sure your website is up and running before you ask for product approval because ClickBank will test the system to make sure it works and that you have a place on your site where customers can contact you if they have technical difficulties downloading your product, so let’s talk about what you need aside from a sales page on your site.
Your Buy Now button should be hyperlinked to send customers to a URL that looks like this: http://ITEM.PUBLISHER.pay.clickbank.net. The item is for publishers who have more than one product listed on ClickBank and each item is given a number, so your first product is numbered “1.” The publisher word is replaced by your login username on ClickBank.
You also need a Thank You page that people will see after they buy from you. This is where you just thank them for buying and then give them an email address they can use if they have any trouble getting the product once they’ve paid (like the page you got when you first order a digital product of any kind).
You also have to tell the customer that their credit card will show a charge from ClickBank or CLKBANK*COM. Then have them link out of the page – you can send them to your blog, another product, an affiliate product, etc.
Never give your Thank You/Download page this name: http://www.YourDomain.com/ThankYou. That’s because many thieves know to enter the domain name / thank you to get access to products for free. Name it something unique, such as “http://www.YourDomain.com/Product93276.html” or something with numbers and letters as part of the name.
More Shopping Cart Strategies… Setting Up Automatic Delivery of Your Product
Once a person places an order, you’ll want to have a system like Download Guard automatically send the product to them. It will create a unique and temporary download link for you so that the customer can’t post it online and share with the public (or at least it’ll expire after a certain amount of time and you can see how many times their link was used to download the items).
Why use Download Guard instead of another tool? Well aside form it being the one everyone I know uses, the owner – Sam – is a downright Saint for putting up with me.
Anytime I had a question or was confused about a tiny thing – he walked me through it or logged into my account for me and fixed me up – and everyone I know says his customer service is top notch for them, too. This is important when you’re investing your own money in a tool.
One thing about DLG that’s confusing. By reading the sales copy, it looks like you have to buy a new copy for every website you launch. Not so! You can have multiple items on one account.
Take your PDF file that you saved in all lower case letters with no spaces and save it as a zip file by right-clicking on it and choosing “Send to a Compressed Zip Folder.” Upload that zip file to your server in the product folder using c-panel like I discussed earlier. Now log into your DLG account.
I want to share a few more things with you. The first column tells which product number is being sold, the second gives a description, the third tells what type, the fourth shows how many have been downloaded (hopefully sold), and then you have options.
So in my example I have the main eBook on line one – sold through PayDotCom.com. It’s been sold/downloaded 323 times. I also have the free bonus that’s been downloaded 879 times on line 2.
Then line three shows ClickBank sales/downloads and line four is a PayPal deal I set up with a Joint Venture partner. He contacted me and asked is he could forego his 50% affiliate commission in exchange for his list getting a discount for 50% of the cost. Since I was going to get the same amount either way, I agreed!
Whenever you want to add your eBook, you’ll click this button: That will take you to an Add Product screen. Here, you’ll enter the following information:
· Product Name (what you see above under description)
· URL of the product file (the zip file where you’ve uploaded it to your hosting account)
· Hours to download (I’ve tested this and 24 seems acceptable. Three is too short and 8 only works for some people).
· Type of Product (I use PayPal for my PLR Mini Mart, and then Free for Bonuses, CB for ClickBank and PDC for PayDotCom, but they have other choices such as 2checkout, eBay, and more).
· Autoresponder email address (whatever your list name is for the product, add that here so that when they buy, Aweber will automatically send them an opt in verification email to see if they want to be on your list. You can do this for viral freebies, too – to build a list of prospective buyers)!
· Other options that show up once a “type of product” is chosen. For instance, if I choose PayPal, it’ll ask me for my PayPal email address, whether this is my primary PayPal account, and it’ll ask me for the price. If I choose PDC, it’ll ask for other things relevant to your PDC product listing. Just look for anything in red and make sure you fill that part out. Once you enter the information, click Save and it will take you back to the Home screen. At the very top, click the Shopping Cart link.
You don’t need to click add to any of these unless you want them showing up in your shopping cart. You won’t. The raw link will be all you’ll use. Now if you have a site with multiple eBooks, where they can add 2 or 5 to the cart and leave others behind, you’ll need to click add each time you add a new eBook. I have to do this for my PLR Mini Mart. (Note the Lee Discount in green – I added it before I knew what I was doing.)
First you’ll choose a category. It’s irrelevant here, but on some sites, you’ll see articles, eBooks, and autoresponder categories. Then you enter the price of the product. Give a short description (2-3 sentences) and a long description. Click Save Changes. Then view Cart to make sure it’s listed in there.
Now – when you use a system like Download Guard, you’ll want to hyperlink your Buy button or text links with the code DLG gives you. So for instance – back on the home page, I want to click “get code” on the far right.
That will show you a screen with two links – the raw URL and one that has HTML code in it for you to put into your website. You can use their generic image, or just grab the raw URL and hyperlink whatever Buy button you want to use on your sales page.
Open up your web page in FrontPage and insert the image. Click Insert a Picture and then find the picture on your hard drive. Now, right click on the button and choose picture properties. Here, you want to enter the entire URL where you’ve hosted this image on your server and click OK.
Right click on the image again and choose hyperlink. Where it asks for the URL, you’ll put your raw URL that you grabbed from Download Guard. Then click OK, save the file, and re-upload it to your server so that it will be live. Always test to see if it works.
Automatically delivering your product is a luxury and will save you a lot of headaches in the future. It may not matter if one or two people have to ask for their product link to be manually emailed, but when you do a product launch and you get 5,000 sales in a day – you’ll wish you had it.
Now it’s time to sign up at ClickBank. You can sign up now and get your nickname and pay the fee later when you’re ready to launch.
Shopping Cart Strategies: Setting Up Your Product for Sale
Once you’re ready, log into your ClickBank account and go to tab at the top of the screen that says, “Account Settings.” They’ll ask you to confirm your account details and enter your SSN or tax ID number – when you’re done, click Save Changes.
Enter the URL of your domain, a title for your product, and a description. The Secret Key is an encrypted code that you can use to track sales. Set your commission to 50% because it defaults at 25%. Then choose two categories for your product. For example, parenting and kids are both related. The main categories are:
· Business to Business
· Health & Fitness
· Home & Family
· Computing & Internet
· Money & Employment
· Marketing & Ads
· Fun & Entertainment
· Sports & Recreation
· Society & Culture
Each one has different sub-categories. When your product is added to the marketplace, it will have a spot like those shown in the image below. These are in the Health & Fitness category and the subcategory of Women’s Health.
Each listing gives the name of the product, a short description, and is listed in order of which product is most popular in the marketplace.
Set your payment preferences and then click Save Changes. You have to accept credit cards in ClickBank – it’s required.
Next click on the My Products Tab. You’ll set up your Thank You page so that when the customer pays through ClickBank’s system, the site will direct them to your Thank You page, where you have a link for them to download the info product to their own computer.
Be sure to walk people through it – tell them to right-click on the link to save it to their computer. Never assume they’ll know how to do this. If it’s a zip file, make sure you tell them to right-click and save the file, then once it’s saved, they should right-click on the file and extract all of the files so they can retrieve the information.
Click on My Products next. You’ll then choose Add Product and a pop up screen will let you enter the Thank You page URL, price (set it to $3.00 for your test phase). Click Save changes.
You have to click “request approval” for it to be approved by a ClickBank representative. When you do, you’ll need to verify the information you provided and enter a few more details, including:
· Your product pitch page URL (the main sales page)
· A description of your product limited to 255 characters
· Whether or not you’re the creator of the product (this means ownership, so even if you hired a ghostwriter, you still say Yes.
· Whether or not you meet the guidelines they list.
· If you made a test purchase for $3.00
· How you’ll deliver the product (automatic redirect to a download page) and…
· Delivery speed (automatic if they redirect to a download page)
Then Click Submit Product Approval Request and you’ll hear back within 3 days if your product’s been approved. After setting this part up, your site is ready for sales!
As orders come in, you’ll be able to login and look at your reports for each month. It will tell you the date of each sale, the time, a receipt number, type of payment method chosen (credit card, online check, PayPal, etc.), whether it was a sale or refund, which item was sold if you have more than one, the amount of the purchase, where the customer is from, and their name, which is hyperlinked to their email address. I hope you are learning new things when it comes to your shopping cart strategies!
Going with the Pay Dot Com Alternative When Considering Different Shopping Cart Strategies
Not everyone likes to deal with ClickBank. There are many reasons, but one major one is because you have to wait for snail mail to bring you a check, while PayDotCom allows PayPal commissions to affiliates and it’s free to get an account.
First, create a Pay Dot Com vendor account and then log in and click on the My Products tab at the very top of the page. Choose “Create a New Product” and you’ll land on a page with a form for you to fill out with the following information:
· Product Name
· Whether or Not It’s a Subscription (Recurring) Charge, and If So, the Billing Period
· An email where you’ll be notified about receipts for each sale
· The option to ONLY use PayPal
· Your Sales Page URL
· Your Thank You (Download) Page URL
· Options About Gathering Shipping Addresses or Other Personal Information, Whether the Affiliates Are Automatically Approved, and Whether It’s Shown in the Marketplace
Then you’ll set the commission payouts and levels and choose if you want to pay them a percentage or flat fee. Enter the PayPal address that you want payments going to and then verify your options before clicking the next step. Here you’ll get to format your order form. You can use a customized order coupon, like the one I have at www.Guide2eBooks.com, or use something generic that you find on the Internet.
On the last step, you can add additional payment options. When you’re finished, click “I am done” and your product will be added to the marketplace for affiliates to see once it’s made its first sale. Buy it for yourself and get it in the marketplace quickly for affiliates to consider. Shopping cart strategies include more than you may have initially thought, am I right?
Now comes the internet marketing side of this business – creating a buzz for your product(s). Once you see what all goes into it, you’ll understand why most internet marketers outsource the writing to someone else – because they’re busy focusing on the marketing end of it all! Let’s get started with general branding for your product line, or your name, since many of you will want to build your online empire around your own moniker. Be sure to bookmark this article as part of your shopping cart strategies resources.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you. If you have an interest in finding the right JV (Joint Venture) partners to help you skyrocket your way to success, please check out my training at JVs Made Simple so you may get started right away.